*/ Presidents don’t have to seek congressional approval for all foreign interventions, but Congress will express its opinion one way or another. A strike in Syria would be the sixth major intervention of the past 20 years—and some 100 politicians have been in office to vote (or spout off) on all of them. However, their positions haven’t always remained the same.
Following the recent chemical strikes in Damascus, some analysts began to focus on whether Iranian president Hassan Rouhani had the will or ability to change the Islamic Republic's policy toward Syria (see PolicyWatch 2123). In the past few days, the "will" part of that question may have been answered: Rouhani and his allies seem to be using the chemical weapons controversy to pick their first major fight with domestic opponents.